Stockholm Gerontology Research Center

Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm Gerontology Research Center

Stockholm, Sweden
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Johnell K.,Karolinska Institutet | Johnell K.,Stockholm Gerontology Research Center | Fastbom J.,Karolinska Institutet | Fastbom J.,Stockholm Gerontology Research Center
Drugs and Aging | Year: 2012

Background: Most previous studies about drug use in the elderly population have either investigated drug use in institutions or in the community-dwelling setting. Hence, very few studies have compared drug use in institutionalized and community-dwelling elderly, maybe because of a lack of sufficiently large databases. Objective: The aim of the study was to investigate differences in drug use patterns between community-dwelling and institutionalized elderly, after adjustment for age, gender and number of other drugs (used as a proxy for overall co-morbidity). Methods: We analysed data from individuals aged ≥65 years who filled at least one drug prescription between July and September 2008 and were consequently registered in the Swedish Prescribed Drug Register (n = 1,347,564; 1,260,843 community-dwelling and 86,721 institutionalized elderly). A list of current prescriptions was constructed for every individual on the arbitrarily chosen date 30 September 2008. Outcome measures were the 20 most common drug classes and the 20 most common individual drugs. Logistic regression analysis was used to investigate whether institutionalization was associated with use of these drugs, after adjustment for age, gender and number of other drugs. Results: Institutionalized elderly were more likely than community-dwelling elderly to use antidepressants, laxatives, minor analgesics, opioids and hypnotics/sedatives, after adjustment for age, gender and number of other drugs. On the contrary, institutionalization was negatively associated with use of lipid modifying agents, angiotensin II antagonists, selective calcium channel blockers, β-blocking agents and ACE inhibitors, after adjustment for age, gender and number of other drugs. Conclusions: Our results indicate that institutionalized elderly are more likely than community-dwelling elderly to use psychotropics, analgesics and laxatives, but less likely to receive recommended cardiovascular drug therapy, which may indicate a need for implementation of evidence-based guidelines for drug treatment in this vulnerable group of elderly patients. Further research is needed to elucidate to what extent the differences in drug use between community-dwelling and institutionalized elderly are explained by different underlying disease patterns and by different prescribing traditions in the different settings. © 2012 Springer International Publishing Switzerland.


Xu W.L.,University of Stockholm | Xu W.L.,Tianjin Medical University | Xu W.L.,Karolinska Institutet | Atti A.R.,University of Stockholm | And 8 more authors.
Neurology | Year: 2011

Objective: The relation of overweight to dementia is controversial. We aimed to examine the association of midlife overweight and obesity with dementia, Alzheimer disease (AD), and vascular dementia (VaD) in late life, and to verify the hypothesis that genetic and early-life environmental factors contribute to the observed association. Methods: From the Swedish Twin Registry, 8,534 twin individuals aged ≥65 (mean age 74.4) were assessed to detect dementia cases (DSM-IV criteria). Height and weight at midlife (mean age 43.4) were available in the Registry. Data were analyzed as follows: 1) unmatched case-control analysis for all twins using generalized estimating equation (GEE) models and 2) cotwin matched case-control approach for dementia-discordant twin pairs by conditional logistic regression taking into account lifespan vascular disorders and diabetes. Results: Among all participants, dementia was diagnosed in 350 subjects, and 114 persons had questionable dementia. Overweight (body mass index [BMI] >25-30) and obesity (BMI >30) at midlife were present in 2,541 (29.8%) individuals. In fully adjusted GEE models, compared with normal BMI (20-25), overweight and obesity at midlife were related to dementia with odds ratios (ORs) (95% CIs) of 1.71 (1.30-2.25) and 3.88 (2.12-7.11), respectively. Conditional logistic regression analysis in 137 dementia-discordant twin pairs led to an attenuated midlife BMI-dementia association. The difference in ORs from the GEE and the matched case-control analysis was statistically significant (p = 0.019). Conclusions: Both overweight and obesity at midlife independently increase the risk of dementia, AD, and VaD. Genetic and early-life environmental factors may contribute to the midlife high adiposity-dementia association. © 2011 by AAN Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.


Qiu C.,Karolinska Institutet | Xu W.,Karolinska Institutet | Fratiglioni L.,Karolinska Institutet | Fratiglioni L.,Stockholm Gerontology Research Center
Journal of Alzheimer's Disease | Year: 2010

Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most common cause of dementia, is posing serious threat to public health and health care system in both developed and developing nations due to a rapid increase in the aging population. Identification of etiological factors for AD and active implementation of interventions targeting those modifiable factors that may prevent or postpone clinical onset of the dementing disorder will provide an opportunity to cope with this challenge. Multidisciplinary research involving epidemiology, neuropathology, and neuroimaging has provided moderately strong evidence supporting the role of vascular factors and related disorders (e.g., midlife high blood pressure and obesity, diabetes, cerebral microvascular lesions, and smoking) as risk factors and the possible role of psychosocial factors (e.g., high educational achievements, mentally-stimulating activity, social engagement, and physical exercise) as protective factors in the development and clinical manifestation of the dementia syndrome, including AD. The implementation of long-term, multidomain interventions designed for the modification of multiple vascular risk factors and the maintenance of socially-integrated lifestyles and mentally-stimulating activities is expected to postpone the clinical onset of AD and dementia, and thus, substantially reduce the burden of the disease at both the individual and societal levels. © 2010 - IOS Press and the authors.


Lovden M.,Karolinska Institutet | Lovden M.,Max Planck Institute for Human Development | Kohncke Y.,Karolinska Institutet | Laukka E.J.,Karolinska Institutet | And 7 more authors.
NeuroImage | Year: 2014

The integrity of the brain's white matter is important for neural processing and displays age-related differences, but the contribution of changes in white matter to cognitive aging is unclear. We used latent change modeling to investigate this issue in a sample of very old adults (aged 81-103. years) assessed twice with a retest interval of 2.3. years. Using diffusion-tensor imaging, we probed white matter microstructure by quantifying mean fractional anisotropy and mean diffusivity of six major white matter tracts. Measures of perceptual speed, episodic memory, letter fluency, category fluency, and semantic memory were collected. Across time, alterations of white matter microstructure in the corticospinal tract were associated with decreases of perceptual speed. This association remained significant after statistically controlling for changes in white matter microstructure in the entire brain, in the other demarcated tracts, and in the other cognitive abilities. Changes in brain volume also did not account for the association. We conclude that white matter microstructure is a potent correlate of changes in sensorimotor aspects of behavior in very old age, but that it is unclear whether its impact extends to higher-order cognition. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.


Xu W.,Karolinska Institutet | Xu W.,Tianjin Medical University | Caracciolo B.,Karolinska Institutet | Wang H.-X.,Karolinska Institutet | And 5 more authors.
Diabetes | Year: 2010

OBJECTIVE - The effect of diabetes on mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and its conversion to dementia remains controversial. We sought to examine whether diabetes and pre-diabetes are associated with MCI and accelerate the progression from MCI to dementia. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - In the Kungsholmen Project, 963 cognitively intact participants and 302 subjects with MCI (120 with amnestic MCI [aMCI ] and 182 with other cognitive impairment no dementia [oCIND]) age ≥75 years were identified at baseline. The two cohorts were followed for 9 years to detect the incident MCI and dementia following international criteria. Diabetes was ascertained based on a medical examination, hypoglycemic medication use, and random blood glucose level ≥11.0 mmol/l. Pre-diabetes was defined as random blood glucose level of 7.8 -11.0 mmol/l in diabetes-free participants. Data were analyzed using standard and time-dependent Cox proportional-hazards models. RESULTS - During the follow-up period, in the cognitively intact cohort, 182 people developed MCI (42 aMCI and 140 oCIND), and 212 developed dementia. In the MCI cohort, 155 subjects progressed to dementia, the multi-adjusted hazard ratio (95% CI) of dementia was 2.87 (1.30-6.34) for diabetes, and 4.96 (2.27-10.84) for pre-diabetes. In a Kaplan-Meier survival analysis, diabetes and pre-diabetes accelerated the progression from MCI to dementia by 3.18 years. Diabetes and pre-diabetes were neither cross-sectionally nor longitudinally associated with MCI. CONCLUSIONS - Diabetes and pre-diabetes substantially accelerate the progression from MCI to dementia, and anticipate dementia occurrence by more than 3 years in people with MCI. The association of diabetes with the development of MCI is less evident in old people. © 2010 by the American Diabetes Association.


Caracciolo B.,Karolinska Institutet | Caracciolo B.,University of Stockholm | Xu W.,Karolinska Institutet | Collins S.,McMaster University | And 2 more authors.
Mechanisms of Ageing and Development | Year: 2014

Cognitive decline in elderly people often derives from the interaction between aging-related changes and age-related diseases and covers a large spectrum of clinical manifestations, from intact cognition through mild cognitive impairment and dementia. Epidemiological evidence supports the hypothesis that modifiable lifestyle-related factors are associated with cognitive decline, opening new avenues for prevention. Diet in particular has become the object of intense research in relation to cognitive aging and neurodegenerative disease. We reviewed the most recent findings in this rapidly expanding field. Some nutrients, such as vitamins and fatty acids, have been studied longer than others, but strong scientific evidence of an association is lacking even for these compounds. Specific dietary patterns, like the Mediterranean diet, may be more beneficial than a high consumption of single nutrients or specific food items. A strong link between vascular risk factors and dementia has been shown, and the association of diet with several vascular and metabolic diseases is well known. Other plausible mechanisms underlying the relationship between diet and cognitive decline, such as inflammation and oxidative stress, have been established. In addition to the traditional etiological pathways, new hypotheses, such as the role of the intestinal microbiome in cognitive function, have been suggested and warrant further investigation. © 2014 The Authors.


Rizzuto D.,Karolinska Institutet | Orsini N.,Karolinska Institutet | Qiu C.,Karolinska Institutet | Wang H.-X.,Karolinska Institutet | And 2 more authors.
BMJ (Online) | Year: 2012

Objective: To identify modifiable factors associated with longevity among adults aged 75 and older. Design: Population based cohort study. Setting: Kungsholmen, Stockholm, Sweden. Participants: 1810 adults aged 75 or more participating in the Kungsholmen Project, with follow-up for 18 years. Main outcome measure: Median age at death. Vital status from 1987 to 2005. Results: During follow-up 1661 (91.8%) participants died. Half of the participants lived longer than 90 years. Half of the current smokers died 1.0 year (95% confidence interval 0.0 to 1.9 years) earlier than non-smokers. Of the leisure activities, physical activity was most strongly associated with survival; the median age at death of participants who regularly swam, walked, or did gymnastics was 2.0 years (0.7 to 3.3 years) greater than those who did not. The median survival of people with a low risk profile (healthy lifestyle behaviours, participation in at least one leisure activity, and a rich or moderate social network) was 5.4 years longer than those with a high risk profile (unhealthy lifestyle behaviours, no participation in leisure activities, and a limited or poor social network). Even among the oldest old (85 years or older) and people with chronic conditions, the median age at death was four years higher for those with a low risk profile compared with those with a high risk profile. Conclusion: Even after age 75 lifestyle behaviours such as not smoking and physical activity are associated with longer survival. A low risk profile can add five years to women's lives and six years to men's. These associations, although attenuated, were also present among the oldest old (≥85 years) and in people with chronic conditions.


Wang R.,Karolinska Institutet | Fratiglioni L.,Karolinska Institutet | Fratiglioni L.,Stockholm Gerontology Research Center | Laukka E.J.,Karolinska Institutet | And 8 more authors.
Neurology | Year: 2015

Objective: To investigate the effects of vascular risk factors and APOE status on white matter microstructure, and subsequent cognitive decline among older people. Methods: This study included 241 participants (age 60 years and older) from the population-based Swedish National Study on Aging and Care in Kungsholmen in central Stockholm, Sweden, who were free of dementia and stroke at baseline (2001-2004). We collected data through interviews, clinical examinations, and laboratory tests. We measured fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) on diffusion tensor imaging, and estimated volume of white matter hyperintensities using automatic segmentation. We assessed global cognitive function with the Mini-Mental State Examination at baseline and at 3- and/or 6-year follow-up. We analyzed the data using multivariate linear regression and linear mixed models. Results: Heavy alcohol consumption, hypertension, and diabetes were significantly associated with lower FA or higher MD (p < 0.05). When aggregating heavy alcohol consumption, hypertension, and diabetes together with current smoking, having an increasing number of these 4 factors concurrently was associated with decreasing FA and increasing MD (ptrend < 0.01), independent of white matter hyperintensities. Vascular risk factors and APOE ε4 allele interacted to negatively affect white matter microstructure; having multiple (≥2) vascular factors was particularly detrimental to white matter integrity among APOE ε4 carriers. Lower tertile of FA and upper tertile of MD were significantly associated with faster Mini-Mental State Examination decline. Conclusions: Vascular risk factors are associated with reduced white matter integrity among older adults, which subsequently predicted faster cognitive decline. The detrimental effects of vascular risk factors on white matter microstructure were exacerbated among APOE ε4 carriers. © 2015 American Academy of Neurology.


Marengoni A.,Karolinska Institutet | Marengoni A.,University of Brescia | Qiu C.,Karolinska Institutet | Winblad B.,Karolinska Institutet | And 2 more authors.
Neurobiology of Aging | Year: 2011

We explored the association of chronic AF with stroke, dementia and Alzheimer's disease (AD) among community-dwelling elderly people. The study population consisted of 685 individuals from Stockholm (The Kungsholmen Project) who were aged 78 years and were free of dementia and clinical stroke. During the 6-year follow-up, 170 subjects developed dementia, and 86 persons experienced first-ever stroke. The incidence rate (per 1000 person-years) of dementia, AD and first-ever stroke was 72.3, 52.2, and 52.2 in persons with AF and 63.8, 54.6 and 30.6 in those without AF, respectively. AF was associated with the hazard ratio of 1.8 (95%CI, 1.0-3.4) for first-ever stroke, but not significantly associated with dementia or AD. © 2009 Elsevier Inc.


Rizzuto D.,Karolinska Institutet | Fratiglioni L.,Karolinska Institutet | Fratiglioni L.,Stockholm Gerontology Research Center
Gerontology | Year: 2014

As the world's population ages, elderly people are becoming an increasingly important group that merits special attention with regard to health and social issues. Lifestyles affect health and survival at all ages, but the consequences of poor lifestyle behaviors may be different for elderly people than for younger adults. They can also be heavily dependent on exposure earlier in life. Our current state of knowledge is based predominantly on studies conducted among middle-aged adults or young elderly people. Moreover, studies are sparse throughout the entire older age spectrum, from 65 to 90 years. This article summarizes the evidence regarding the impact of lifestyle behaviors on mortality among elderly people. It focuses on behaviors modifiable by individual actions and public health interventions, such as smoking, obesity and sedentary behavior, which predispose numerous people to diseases that rank among the leading causes of death, including heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes and dementia. These factors not only shorten life but, when they occur together, also have a major impact on survival beyond that associated with each single lifestyle factor. We propose an integrated life course model to guide research on longevity to answer questions that remain open and to find new strategies to ensure a longer and healthier life for future generations. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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